Friday, 9 December 2011

So close...

It's Friday 9th December. In just over a week I'll be on a flight back to the UK for the Christmas period. Between now and then there are many hours of revision and five IAA ATPL examinations.

Starting on Monday the exams take place over three days at the local Hilton hotel.

Monday afternoon involves General Navigation encompassing fifty four questions over a two hour time period. Tuesday morning is IFR Communications followed by Radio Navigation later in the day. The first is twenty three questions in thirty minutes while the latter is much longer with fifty nine questions over one hour and thirty minutes. The final day involves Flight Planning first thing followed almost immediately by VFR Communications. The former consists of fifty six questions over a large time scale of three hours while VFR mirrors the IFR test.

As mentioned last week, taking the mock examinations gave us all a good indication of what we need to work on before the IAA arrive this weekend.

Since Sunday, bar the below, there has been very little activity over here. I've done some small amounts of revision but now as the weekend arrives it's back to the studying for most hours of the day and reacquainting myself with the four walls of my room.

The weather over these past few days, bar yesterday, has been fantastic. It's quite odd being in an environment of 25°C+ at this time of year. The Christmas songs have now slowly started appear and will no doubt play a major part during the study this weekend!

I had said last week that I was hoping to get my mock FAA PPL check ride complete yesterday however unfortunately this didn't take place. The next best thing was to back seat a flight.

Although we have had cloud free skies for quite a while now, yesterday was the exception as the clouds hung over Melbourne for the entire day. It looked unlikely that we would manage to get airborne for the trip up to Daytona. Arriving early at the Flightline the visibility was looking promising. It was decided between the instructor and student that the lesson would at least be given the opportunity.

Paperwork complete, forms, binders and documents collected we headed out to the plane. The plane was prepped and we headed out to the run up area. 

As the relevant checks were being conducted by the student the instructor contacted the ground frequency here in Melbourne and asked for the latest visibility reports. A Delta jet had just departed and the controller was waiting for a pilot report from the flight crew and would report back.

"FIT 40, the Delta jet departed to the south and was therefore not able to supply a relevant PIREP, I'm seeing clouds broken at three thousand."

It was decided we would try the flight. 

"Melbourne Ground, FIT 40 is at the FIT run up area, departure to the north west with information C, ready to taxi."

"FIT 40 taxi Runway 5 via Victor, hold short Runway 5 at Victor."

Due to the short taxi distance and how quiet the airport was at that time we were in the air within a couple of minutes and heading towards the north west.

As we climbed it was evident that weather wasn't improving and the instructor made the decision as we passed two thousand feet that it would not be beneficial for the lesson to continue and as such we returned to Melbourne's airspace.

I would imagine most would think the eighteen minutes we spent in the air were a waste of time however one could argue it was good experience in airmanship in knowing when and when not to make the go or no-go decision.

"FIT 40, cleared to land Runway 5." 

Back to the books...


  1. I'm not a pilot, but I think you've got it right. We passengers want you guys in front not because you can drive the plane, but because you know when to say "no." Sounds like you had a perfect training flight.

  2. Where did you do your CPL training, i've almost finished my PPL

  3. Hey

    I haven't started my CPL yet. I'm on the integrated course which involves starting with the PPL then ATPLs followed by the MEP/CPL.

    In Ireland we'll then complete the IR training in Waterford followed by the MCC/JOC in Dublin.

    Then it's hopefully on to the type rating - a long way to go!